Dear Readers, I'm afraid this is going to be the last post here at Scientia Salon. It has been a good, if short, run. From March 2014 to this month we have published 152 articles, received more than 15,000 comments, and have experienced a total of almost 1.5 million views. Nonetheless, several things have prompted … Continue reading It has been fun
by Thomas Coleman III Introduction Planet earth appears to be filled with unseen forces that control the behavior of its inhabitants. No, this isn’t the beginning to a cheesy B-movie science fiction film script. This is reality and even the staunchest of skeptics act as if they believe in these invisible forces. That is, we … Continue reading Does the Atheist have a Theory of Mind?
by Massimo Pigliucci Here is a Scientia Salon video chat between Dan Kaufman and Massimo Pigliucci, this time focusing on the issues surrounding the so-called "strong" program in Artificial Intelligence. Much territory that should be familiar to regular readers is covered, hopefully, however, with enough twists to generate new discussion. We introduce the basic strong AI thesis about … Continue reading Strong Artificial Intelligence
by Massimo Pigliucci This is my third essay on what has become an informal series on socially relevant false dichotomies (the first one was on “trigger warnings” , the second one on Islamophobia ). On this occasion I’m going to focus again on nature-nurture , perhaps the motherlode of false dichotomies (as well as my area of … Continue reading The false dichotomy of nature-nurture, with notes on feminism, transgenderism, and the construction of races
by Markus Eronen Everything in philosophy seems to come in levels. There are levels of organization, levels of abstraction, levels of being, levels of explanation, levels of complexity, levels of analysis… and the list goes on. For example, British emergentists such as Samuel Alexander and C. Lloyd Morgan believed that there are several levels of … Continue reading Are There Levels Out There?
by Andy Norman A cowboy walks into a saloon. He removes his dusty hat, orders a whiskey, and sinks wearily onto a stool. He downs the whiskey, looks around, and notices that an attractive woman has joined him at the bar. She looks him over and asks, “Are you a real cowboy?” The cowboy pauses … Continue reading The Cowboy, the Lesbian, and the Humanist
by Massimo Pigliucci A false dichotomy is a basic type of informal logical fallacy, consisting in framing an issue as if there were only two choices available, while in fact a range of nuanced positions may be on offer upon more careful reflection. While I have argued together with my colleagues Maarten Boudry and Fabio … Continue reading The false dichotomy of Islamophobia